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Buying Cables: OEM Versus Retail

Apr 17, 2008
For those who aren't in the know with the acronym, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. For the hardware sellers in the retail world, this would be in the same vein as buying directly from the manufacturer. You're not buying from Circuit City, you are buying from Samsung -- such is a general idea. This can be really nice because it reduces cost considerably. These offers often come from the cable supplier as well when referring to cable hardware.

Buying OEM products has been hot, even more recently for the average consumer. It was made known more so, not really by the cable industry, but by the software one -- where you would see offers for operating systems go for half price you would see sold retail. So with all great deals there is generally a catch. The following will have a bit of the advantages and some of the disadvantages of buying typical cables and custom cables alike.

OEM Advantages and Disadvantages

The slang term for OEM products is often termed as the "white box" version. An apt name, since it's devoid of most consumer package marketing. But the advantage of going white box for cables is that they are pretty cheap. Anyone that knows when setting up a sound room, putting together a patch bay or the like will run a pretty price tag for cabling. That's why finding OEM sourced products are so valuable.

For instance if you were running a business selling high-definition digital equipment, a good mark up cable to use would be an HDMI T.V. cable. So if you were negotiating with the cable supplier, getting a good OEM cable shipment in bulk you can take those cables and sell them retail for a considerable markup, as you would see being done in many retail locations.

In addition, if you are dealing with the supplier in such a manner, you can often have them make custom cables made for special projects.

Since OEM is geared for the reseller, sometimes it's not necessarily good for the average consumer. If you don't know what you are doing, what you are getting into then buying a cable for the wrong reason may leave you hung out to dry. In other words, there is not much for support. It's like buying a car without warranty.

The private consumer who just wants one item may want to get the cables that are prepackaged rather than sold by themselves. Warranties are usually put in the bundled product rather than individually.

The bottom line is that if you are a legitimate business person who is in the know verses someone who just wants to go cheap then buying OEM could be either a blessing or a curse.
About the Author
Professional Cable (http://www.professionalcable.com) is a cable supplier company who has almost every cable for every occasion. Every cable from custom cables to your typical patch cable comes with quality assurance backing at Professional Cable. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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